First of all...
It's important to understand that after getting a new tattoo, the area is essentially just a large, open wound. Very vulnerable to germs and bacteria until the tattooed skin is able to protect itself once again by healing over. So when these horrid germs penetrate the wound, your immune system may not kick in enough to save it from infection. It's not an uncommon occurrence and there is (mostly) no need to panic (just yet).
Now, How do we treat and 'fix' an infected tattoo?
We start by addressing and identifying the signs of an infection.
Signs of an infection
Visible bumps, redness, inflammation, discolouration, sores, scabs or wheezing (pus). These are all very common and easily noticeable signs of an infection.
The natural healing process may show some of these signs temporarily, however they shouldn't last any more than 3-7 days, nor cause extreme discomfort. Itchiness and redness can be totally normal with no cause for concern. If you would like to skip the itchy phase of the tattoo healing process, definitely stock up on Ink Nurse.
Is my tattoo infected? Or just healing?
A very common question people have. Is my tattoo infected or just healing? Is the tattoo 'supposed' to be red and inflamed, itchy and swollen?
In short - Yes, in moderation and without it getting worse or being overly irritable. It is very common and normal for tattoos to look red, itchy and swollen. This is normal during the healing process. However if any of these symptoms become out of hand or difficult to deal with, then there could be a possibility of infection. Especially if it becomes extra painful, discharges pus-like substances, a rash breaks out, extreme discolouration or severe scabbing and irritation.
There is typically no need to panic, just ensure proper tattoo care and quality tattoo aftercare to ensure the best possible healing process with minimal risk of infection.
Best way to treat an infected tattoo?
If you are experiencing minor bumps and rashes, then you can usually manage at home with antibacterial ointment (Ink Nurse), proper cleaning, and rest.
If you’re experiencing an infection, the type of treatment will depend on the cause. You may need to visit a Doctor for further inspection and possible sample to determine the bacteria or virus cause. In rare cases, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to help stop the infection. In severe cases of infection, antibiotic treatments may last for weeks or months.
Persistent, long term, extreme itch and painful bumps in your tattoo may be signs of an atypical mycobacterial infection. This may require long-term antibiotic treatment.
Tattoo infections are more often than not very easy to treat. Most infections can be treated within a few days or week. However, some more serious infections may require long-term antibiotics or further medications.
Choose a good tattoo artist and tattoo studio. Ensure you have a proper tattoo care product and remember to keep the wound clean!
Thank You! - Betty xx